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Another Impeccable Pitching Performance

Another day, another solid pitching performance by a St. Louis starting pitcher. Kyle Lohse threw a complete two-hitter to beat the Nationals 5-0. It was the Cards first complete game two-hit shutout since Jose DeLeon did it in April of 1989. Hopefully Redbird fans don’t have to wait another 20+ years to see this performance again, and at the rate that the staff is throwing the ball, they may not have to wait another full season.

Lohse’s performance, as great as it was, may not be the most impressive of the rotation. Kyle McClellan spent his first three season’s in the league as a reliever. He has always wanted a shot as a starter, and this year he has made the most of his opportunity. McClellan has recorded a 2-0 record through his three quality starts, and his ERA is a miniscule 1.89. When ace Adam Wainwright suffered a season ending injury early in spring training, the Cards chances looked bleak. Ever since McClellan got his first start, nobody has mentioned Wainwright’s absence.

On Opening Day, the only two pitchers that were not question marks were Chris Carpenter and Jamie (that’s pronounced HI-may) Garcia. Carp has looked good so far, but just hasn’t caught enough breaks to make his winless record look good. He has three of his four appearances have resulted in quality starts– two losses and two no decisions. That should change when he faces the Reds this weekend. Over the years he as posted a 9-0 record with a 1.56 ERA vs. Cincinnati.

Garcia is back to his old form that he displayed in the first half of his rookie year. He is 3-0 with just one no decision. The hurler also boasts the third best ERA in the National League at 1.44. Having a three to one strikeout to walk ratio has also helped out his cause.

The only pitcher in the rotation that has not panned out the way upper-management hoped he would has been Jake Westbrook. Westbrook was acquired in a trade last year from the Cleveland Indians. He has posted a 9.82 ERA, is 1-2 and only has nine strikeouts on the season. If Westbrook could get rolling, this rotation would be extremely underrated, but very dangerous, especially into the the late summer months.

The Cards started slow starting out 2-6, but have won eight of 11 since. Blowing four games in the ninth inning already this season hurts pretty bad, but they have shown the potential is there as they offense has started to heat up as well. They need to take care of business this weekend to try to take early control of the division. All eyes will be on the Cardinals and Reds who will play each other for the first time this season tonight at 7:15 at Busch Stadium.


Just a few days left to go

I’ve never been one to stay up for all hours of the night or blow off sleep or anything like that. I always tell myself that I need at least 8 hours. Whether  I really do or not, who knows. It is just what the “experts” say. The problem with all this is that the regular hours for my new job are approximately midnight to 8am. Not exactly what I’m used to.

A requirement for Senior Seminar in Mass Communication is to have a Senior Portfolio Review with a professional in your field. I went to KQTV in St. Joseph for my review. I’m assuming it helped that I have interned there and been in and out over the past few years, because they offered me a job. So now I’m producing the morning show. I was wanting to go into sports, but this would be a good start to it all.

I’m pumped to have a job, but I am trying to get trained before actually going fulltime. Trying to find time to go to class, do my work on campus, working overnight in St. Joe and sleeping has been a little bit difficult. Usually if have the time to sleep, I can’t! My body is pretty picky on when it will allow me to fall asleep. Ever since I was little I could never sleep in the car and I can’t take naps during the day. This results in me being awake for 24+ hours at times…not necessarily a good thing for me, or for someone I come across at around the 22 hour mark, because I tend to get a little bit cranky.

Tomorrow’s the last day of class, then a final on Tuesday…if I can find a way to get through that and hammer out a schedule I will be fine. But there are still quite a few papers to be written and classes to be passed. It will be a stressful couple of days.

Graduation is almost here

It has been four long years, but finally my career at Northwest Missouri State is coming to a close. Three more days of actual classes, one final and I will be out the door (providing none of my professors throw a curveball at me at the last second). I say four long years…but while I was in the moment, they actually seemed to go pretty fast.

As exciting as it is to be getting out of school, it is a little bit nerve-racking as well. I mean really, school is the only thing I have ever known. The first about 4.5-5 years of my life I don’t really remember too well, but the last 17 have been spent in a classroom. It is weird to think that my every morning, for probably about the next 50 years, give or take a few, I will be going into work. Yes, I have had my summer jobs: in high school I worked in the local gas station part-time and focused on going to football and basketball camps or playing baseball; for the past four years I landscaped in St. Joseph all summer. Those jobs were good enough for the time being. At the end of each summer, I was more than ready to get back into the grind of school and spend each day in class with friends. That seemed like a good rotation going to school for a portion of the year, then working the rest. It was a good enough change of pace to allow me to get my batteries recharged for whatever the next obstacle was for me.

That is not the case anymore though. It is all work all the time. The main thing that has been stressed to all of us students during our school careers was to find a job that did not necessarily just pay the bills, but that you enjoyed. I guess this is the time where I find out if I made the right decision. I’m going to cross my fingers that I did, or the next half a century could get pretty dicey.

But I guess that is what makes things exciting: not knowing what is around the next corner.

The Summer of George!

So the title doesn’t really match up with what I talked about, but “The Summer of George” episode of Seinfeld was pretty funny. I encourage everyone to check it out. Or at least watch the link above.

It is nearing the summer, and I am pumped about it. So much has happened since my last post! Mizzou has a new head men’s basketball coach (Frank Haith), the basketball season has officially come to an end and Major League Baseball has officially began. The weather here in Maryville has been amazing lately too. Monday kind of sucked with 40 mile per hour winds and a high of 40-something degrees, but last weekend, and I believe through next weekend should fall no lower than 60 degrees. And to top it all off, graduation is just 4 days away. Now I just have to make sure I pass that English Lit class…

I can’t really believe that the Northwest Spring Football game is this weekend too. That should be a pretty fun game with a lot of new faces, or may be just the same faces in different places. Legendary head coach Mel Tjeerdsma retired, so Scott Bostwick took his role as the #1 man, Adam Dorrell is the assistant head coach now that Will Wagner is the head coach at Angelo State and Rich Wright was promoted from D-Line coach to Defensive Coordinator. Plus, it is Coach Bostwick’s first recruiting class as king of the castle. On paper this looks like a pretty good class and could have an immediate impact…that’s just on paper of course. In the words of Chris Berman, “That’s why they play the game.” This weekend’s spring game will not tell the full story of how the 2011 Bearcats will be, but it will give a small glimpse. In case you aren’t sure: 6pm at Bearcat Stadium. Bring a canned good and get in free…although is that really free??!

In closing, I proclaim this THE SUMMER OF GEORGE!

A Good Sign

Finally this long week is coming to a close.  It has been interesting on many different levels: getting papers done, 50 degree weather one day, a few inches of snow the next, Mizzou won their 4th straight game going into this Saturday’s away game with Kansas State, but the worst of it all was the news that Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will miss the season due to an elbow injury.

With all that though, I’ve got something else on my mind this evening. Things have been slow for football with free agency in the NFL on hold because of the wait on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to go through. The deadline to franchise tag one player for each team was this week, and even though the franchise tag could take on a whole new meaning, it is still interesting to see how it would shakedown for each team. The obvious rolled through– who didn’t expect Peyton Manning to get the tag from the Colts??? In Oakland though, all the speculation leading up to it was TE Zack Miller tagged to keep the young talent. Interestingly enough though, it went to linebacker Kamerion Wimbley.

Wimbley’s rookie contract was expected to expire, but there was a buyback option worth $3.5 million that the Raiders looked to excercise. ESPN’s website reported that “… Wimbley’s agent, Joe Linta, said the NFL determined that deal violated rules prohibiting base salaries rising more than 30 percent in a year.”

The Silver & Black slapped the franchise tag worth $10 million on Wimbley. Oakland acquired the former Florida State Seminole from the Browns in a trade last off season.

It seems like a big leap giving a guy an additional $6 million for one season, but I believe it is the right move. Wimbley led the Raiders with 9 sacks in just his 5th season. At just 27 years old, he has the potential to be a team leader and contributor for many years to come.

That wasn’t the only smart move by the Raiders front office today. They also re-signed cornerback Stanford Routt to a 3 year, $30+ million deal, $20 million of it is guaranteed. A large sum of money once again, but seemingly well worth it. All of the fretting to this point in the off season came because Nnamdi Asomugha, arguably the best cornerback in the NFL, will be a free agent. Asomugha is well-respected by everyone in football– he was targeted just 33 times by quarterbacks all season. More than past years, but still a miniscule number. Of those 33 passes, 13 of them were completions, that is 39.4 percent. Routt was targeted 99 times and he also allowed just 39.4 percent of those to be completed. Pretty good numbers, especially since in 2009 he allowed over 60 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught.

It will be a sad day if/when Nnamdi Asomugha dons a uniform that is not silver & black, but it is reassuring to see another young guy stepping up to fill his big shoes.

There are still a lot of key free agents for the Raiders to sign. Other than Asomugha, Miller, Michael Bush, Robert Gallery and Michael Huff all need new contracts. I doubt all of them stick around, but the majority need to if this team will keep making strides and improve on 2010’s 8-8 season. Just last week defensive linemen Richard Seymour and John Henderson signed 2  year contract extensions. Hopefully the presence of those two veterans along with the Wimbley and Routt can persuade their teammates to sign back on with one of the most storied franchises in the NFL.

Because everyone wants to be the Autumn Wind

What makes you tick?

For Blog post #3, I took a look at two articles, one from Slate called “This is not a Blog Post” and the other from jeffbullas.com called “12 Reasons Why People Blog.”

In looking at these separate pieces, the one from Slate discusses publications that are blogs or contain them, and how some of these publications are moving forward. Some bloggers, which are professional writers, are getting their panties up in a bunch because, and this is just what I’m drawing from the article, they are not getting the respect or the recognition for being a true publication. With that in mind, I agree fully with the Slate author Farhad Manjoo and the source quoted: ” I say this with all possible deference: Who cares?” wrote Joel Johnson, the Gizmodo blogger, when I approached him with such questions. Scott Rosenberg, author of Say Everything, a history of blogging, echoes this point: “Just as journalists think readers have a deep awareness of distinctions like ‘hard news piece’ vs. ‘feature’ vs. ‘news analysis,’ we think they understand or care about the line between ‘article’ and ‘blog post.’

The jeffbullas.com article goes more into who is blogging and for what reason. The #1 and #3 reason that people blog as according to the statistics are their passion or business respectively. I have to admit that those two things (as well as #2– sharing with others) are the reason that I have previously considered blogging or the reason why I use Twitter (are you going to search me on Twitter now?), because I want to show future employers in the event that they search me on the Internet that I am up to date with technology as well as being informed of what is going on. If that is why I do this stuff, isn’t that probably the reason these professional writers do it? And the fact that they make money helps.

What I’m trying to get across is that I don’t think it matters if you are writing in the New York Times printed newspaper, or are doing a blog on wordpress.com for a class at NWMSU, if what you have to say is worthwhile, people will respect it and read it. The keys to it all seems to be that you need to be writing about whatever it is that makes you tick.

Upcoming Assignment

I am not sure what I will find when I compare a hardcopy of ESPN the Magazine and the online version for the online publication assignment. Each version of the magazine has good points as well as bad ones, so this assignment could potentially lead me to cancelling my subscription to the print version. Then again, I may be very grateful to be receiving it through the mail every two weeks after my findings.

Before this assignment I never read the same article in the print version and online, but then again, I always assumed they were identical so there was no need to. After comparing both publications side to side, I will be looking to see if some articles get cut short in the online version, and searching the web site to see if the opinion columns are limited to the print version.

I’m sure there are bits and pieces of the magazine held strictly to the hardcopy, but my main goal for the project is to decide whether or not the bi-weekly copy I get through the mail is worth the money spent. At this point I believe it is worth it because there are perks online that are only available through the subscription.

I’m looking forward to breaking down each version of ESPN the Magazine, especially since the assignment allows me to examine a publication I am interested in.

Did anyone else see how pathetic the Pro Bowl was?

Until next time…